Coun­try croon­ers cel­e­brate 30 years

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

The Mata­mata Coun­try Mu­sic Club cel­e­brated its 30th birth­day at the RSA clu­b­rooms last week­end as mem­bers shared their most mem­o­rable mo­ments.

Kath Mac­don­ald re­mem­bers the day she joined the club and said it had been an un­for­get­table jour­ney ever since.

She and her hus­band Vern joined in 1984, nearly three years af­ter it started in 1981, and re­main the club’s long­est serv­ing mem­bers. Although nei­ther of them plays an in­stru­ment, they both share the love of coun­try mu­sic.

‘‘Vern joined up, then soon I joined and we started help­ing out on the com­mit­tee and or­gan­is­ing events,’’ she said. ‘‘They call me the carer now be­cause I still help out with a lot of things.’’ Mr Mac­don­ald was elected vi­cepres­i­dent in 1996 and re­mained in that po­si­tion for three years.

The club meets ev­ery third Fri­day at the Mata­mata Pri­mary School hall and has done since the be­gin­ning.

Mrs Mac­don­ald said her fond­est mem­o­ries came from the many week­ends spent trav­el­ling with per­form­ers to var­i­ous clubs in New Zealand, in­clud­ing Thames and Gis­borne, to take part in shows.

‘‘They were very good week­ends.

‘‘ We have met so many peo­ple and even though some of our friends have passed on now, we still have many mem­o­ries,’’ she said.

‘‘They used to call me the so­cial but­ter­fly and that was the rea­son I loved go­ing for so long – it was a chance to make friends and have fun.’’

Well known singers Ash­ley Cooper, Mike McKin­lay and Melissa Dais­ley all started out as young artists in the Mata­mata Coun­try Mu­sic Club and have gone on to per­form through­out New Zealand.

Over the years the club has be­come known for its Red Star Awards which are held an­nu­ally. This is a com­pe­ti­tion for tal­ented un­der-18 year olds to per­form on stage and the win­ners go on to com­pete in En­ter­tainer of the Year. ‘‘ We used to do a lot for the kids – they were an im­por­tant part of our club and still are,’’ Mrs Mac­don­ald said.

His­tory: Kath Mac­don­ald has many fond mem­o­ries of her time in the Mata­mata Coun­try Mu­sic club in­clud­ing when mem­bers of the club per­formed at the Mor­rinsville Club Spec­tac­u­lar show in the early 90s.

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